DE60129444T2 - Polymerization reactor - Google Patents

Polymerization reactor

Info

Publication number
DE60129444T2
DE60129444T2 DE2001629444 DE60129444T DE60129444T2 DE 60129444 T2 DE60129444 T2 DE 60129444T2 DE 2001629444 DE2001629444 DE 2001629444 DE 60129444 T DE60129444 T DE 60129444T DE 60129444 T2 DE60129444 T2 DE 60129444T2
Authority
DE
Germany
Prior art keywords
section
settling
reactor
closed
loop reactor
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
Application number
DE2001629444
Other languages
German (de)
Other versions
DE60129444D1 (en
Inventor
Tone Aastad
Paul Allemeersch
Lars Tore Grimsland
Ingrid S. Melaaen
Ben Arve Olsen
Odd Jarle Vardal
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Borealis Technology Oy
Original Assignee
Borealis Technology Oy
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Borealis Technology Oy filed Critical Borealis Technology Oy
Priority to EP01309185A priority Critical patent/EP1310295B1/en
Publication of DE60129444D1 publication Critical patent/DE60129444D1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of DE60129444T2 publication Critical patent/DE60129444T2/en
Application status is Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B01PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL PROCESSES OR APPARATUS IN GENERAL
    • B01JCHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROCESSES, e.g. CATALYSIS OR COLLOID CHEMISTRY; THEIR RELEVANT APPARATUS
    • B01J8/00Chemical or physical processes in general, conducted in the presence of fluids and solid particles; Apparatus for such processes
    • B01J8/005Separating solid material from the gas/liquid stream
    • B01J8/007Separating solid material from the gas/liquid stream by sedimentation
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B01PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL PROCESSES OR APPARATUS IN GENERAL
    • B01JCHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROCESSES, e.g. CATALYSIS OR COLLOID CHEMISTRY; THEIR RELEVANT APPARATUS
    • B01J19/00Chemical, physical or physico-chemical processes in general; Their relevant apparatus
    • B01J19/0053Details of the reactor
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B01PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL PROCESSES OR APPARATUS IN GENERAL
    • B01JCHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROCESSES, e.g. CATALYSIS OR COLLOID CHEMISTRY; THEIR RELEVANT APPARATUS
    • B01J19/00Chemical, physical or physico-chemical processes in general; Their relevant apparatus
    • B01J19/24Stationary reactors without moving elements inside
    • B01J19/2455Stationary reactors without moving elements inside provoking a loop type movement of the reactants
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B01PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL PROCESSES OR APPARATUS IN GENERAL
    • B01JCHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROCESSES, e.g. CATALYSIS OR COLLOID CHEMISTRY; THEIR RELEVANT APPARATUS
    • B01J8/00Chemical or physical processes in general, conducted in the presence of fluids and solid particles; Apparatus for such processes
    • B01J8/0015Feeding of the particles in the reactor; Evacuation of the particles out of the reactor
    • B01J8/003Feeding of the particles in the reactor; Evacuation of the particles out of the reactor in a downward flow
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B01PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL PROCESSES OR APPARATUS IN GENERAL
    • B01JCHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROCESSES, e.g. CATALYSIS OR COLLOID CHEMISTRY; THEIR RELEVANT APPARATUS
    • B01J8/00Chemical or physical processes in general, conducted in the presence of fluids and solid particles; Apparatus for such processes
    • B01J8/18Chemical or physical processes in general, conducted in the presence of fluids and solid particles; Apparatus for such processes with fluidised particles
    • B01J8/20Chemical or physical processes in general, conducted in the presence of fluids and solid particles; Apparatus for such processes with fluidised particles with liquid as a fluidising medium
    • B01J8/22Chemical or physical processes in general, conducted in the presence of fluids and solid particles; Apparatus for such processes with fluidised particles with liquid as a fluidising medium gas being introduced into the liquid
    • B01J8/224Chemical or physical processes in general, conducted in the presence of fluids and solid particles; Apparatus for such processes with fluidised particles with liquid as a fluidising medium gas being introduced into the liquid the particles being subject to a circulatory movement

Description

  • The The present invention relates to a device for use in the production of polymers and in particular the design of the Settling strand (the settling strands) a polymerization reactor.
  • polymers like polyethylene, are typically made by the Phillips process in one pressurized closed-loop reactor using made of the so-called suspension system in which the polymer Continuously formed when the reactants are in the liquid state circulate in the closed loop reactor. The polymer product is formed as a solid that is in the liquid is suspended.
  • If Polyethylene to be produced in this way is the reactor supplied with certain other materials high purity ethylene. One Hydrocarbon having a low boiling point, such as isobutane, is used to dissolve the ethylene monomer and to suspend the catalyst and the polymer particles in the reactor. The isobutane plays in the actual Polymerization reaction does not matter, and so it is finally recovered, purified and recirculated. Furthermore Hydrogen is added to the molecular weight of the polyethylene produced to control, and the comonomer 1-hexene is added to the density of the product. The reaction is typically under Use of a chromium, Ziegler-Natta or metallocene catalyst catalyzed.
  • The Ethylene gas, the diluent and the powdery one Catalyst are continuously in the reactor with closed Circle introduced where they circulate quickly with the help of a pump. The reactor core becomes typically at a temperature of the order of 100 ° C and at a pressure of the order of magnitude held by 4 MPa. While of normal operation the reactor about 40 wt .-% polyethylene. If the process continues, The formation of polymer particles begins, and the larger ones fall as "flakes" and get out in a settling zone, from the periodically a concentrated suspension is delivered.
  • The Production system is continuous, so that the product with the same The rate at which it arises is removed. The polymer product is with the diluent Isobutane is mixed and it is of course desirable to have the amount of isobutane to decrease, leaving the reactor with the polymer. This Isobutane must be cleaned and repressurized before returning to the reactor introduced which contributes significantly to the cost of the process.
  • Around increase the concentration of the polymer before it is released become settling strands (or drain strands) used. A settling leg is a conduit which, via an outlet conduit, which is welded to the closed-loop reactor, connected to a section of the closed loop reactor is. The geometry of the settling strand is chosen so that the liquid therein comparatively is quiet, so that Settling of the flakes increases. The effluent of the settling strand is from a valve assembly controlled so that the concentrated suspension is discharged periodically from the reactor.
  • Even though other arrangements have been proposed and used is the most common System for the Absetzstrang in that he has the shape of a vertical pipe extending from the lowest point the core of the closed-loop reactor extends downwards. It is typically through one or two compartment valves with the Reactor connected, wherein another valve, a so-called product removal valve (PTO valve) is provided at the lower end of the Absetzstrangs. The settling strand is in proportion for Re actuator with a closed circuit arranged so that the current the suspension through its opening for one Resting zone provides, in which the polymer particles to some extent Extent the diluent drop. That increases the polymer concentration to perhaps 60% by weight.
  • The Divider valves are only used in case of irregular operation of the reactor, as a blockage, closed, so that a safe disassembly of Absetzstrangs for Maintenance or cleaning is possible. (When open are, restrict do not take the strand.) While Consequently, the operating valves are always open, so that the suspension can get out of the reactor in the settling strand. Due to the higher density the polymer flakes in comparison with the diluent decreases the concentration the flakes in the settling strand. The amount of the settled product (i.e., the product concentration in the strand) is known to depend on the properties the particle, the density of the diluent, the cross - sectional area of the Strand and the rest period.
  • The contents of the settling leg are periodically released through the PTO valve in a process known as firing. In a typical reactor, there are a number of settling strands and each is burned off at a different time about once a minute. To burn off a settling line, the PTO valve is opened for a few seconds. The pressure inside the reactor quickly forces the contents of the strand out through the PTO valve to the expansion chamber, where the mixture is depressurized to remove the diluent Substantially and to remove any traces of monomer substantially completely.
  • A such arrangement is well known and e.g. in US-A-5183866, which primarily improvements during evaporation of the diluent concerns. Another example is US-A-4461889 which discloses the use a filter vessel downstream of the Absetzstrangs proposes to the removal of polymer solids from the diluent to improve before the polymer is fed to a flash tank.
  • It is self-evident, that the Rate at which the polymer settles in the settling strand, so that it can then be given a significant influence on the total production rate of the reactor has. It also determines the Rate of diluent flow to the reactor. The mass of polymer that settles per unit time becomes referred to as settling rate, and in a modern reactor with closed The settling rate is one of the main limitations for a higher production capacity. A Increase the Diluent capacity may vary this restriction However, that requires extremely expensive modifications of one typical reactor.
  • It has already been mentioned been that the Settling rate depends on the properties of the polymer flakes. These are in turn determined by the properties of the catalyst and can usually not changed without affecting the properties of the final polymer product. A change from one catalyst to another (e.g., for the production of a polymer with other properties) may actually have the properties of Change flakes so much that the production capacity is reduced by 25 % is reduced. Such a reduction is e.g. recognizable if the production using a metallocene catalyst for the production a polymer for compared rotational molding with a blow molding polymer which is generated using a chromium catalyst. The general desire to increase the settling rate can thus be reflected in these make be especially urgent.
  • If Moreover, the content of the polymer solids is too low comes in Operation of the relaxation drum to problems. The reason is that relaxation drums designed so that they Heat off to them Exploit material. The solid polymer has a higher heat capacity than the diluent, Thus, a lower polymer content can cause too little heat, the relaxation drum reached to the diluent Completely to evaporate.
  • Around for a better settling of the polymer and thereby the content of the diluent in the suspension, US-A-4613484 describes the use various arrangements of settling strands. This includes the use of inclined sections in combination with a circulation line for the thinner from the settling strand and a small stream of diluent feed in the settling strand. The construction of inclined settling strands ensures however for practical problems, and the extra Lines and valve controls involved in providing the diluent circulation involved and carry the lines for the diluent feed essential to the complexity and the costs.
  • EP-A-0891990 recognizes the problem of bottleneck caused by the use of settling legs emerges and explains further, that a larger diameter the settling strands leads to significant problems, since it is not practicable, the diameter of the compartment valves between the closed circle and the strand to enlarge. When Consequence will be explained that the normal practice in this field has been to determine the number of settling strands on each increase closed circle. Leading However, there are also practical problems, as the number of required Strands begins, available to cross standing room. In response to these problems, the document proposes the total abolition the settling step before by the polymer concentration of the suspension increased in the reactor and a continuous removal of the product is applied.
  • WHERE 01/05542 also discloses a closed loop reactor, the for a continuous removal of the product is designed.
  • It is self-evident, that these Method in many cases unsuitable and it is often not possible or desirable to modify the reactor conditions so that the application of a continuous Removal possible is. One can e.g. the polymer concentration of the suspension does not exceed certain Increase limits, those of the flow properties be imposed on the suspension.
  • According to the present invention, there is provided a polymerization apparatus comprising a closed loop reactor connected to a settling train, the settling train being connected to the lower portion of the reactor and a first tubular portion in fluid communication with the reactor and a second tubular portion comprising, connected at one end via at least one dividing valve to the first tubular portion and at its other end a valve which is arranged so that is provided for the periodic emptying of the settling strand, wherein the second tubular portion has a larger inner cross-sectional area than the first tubular portion
  • By this invention includes the settling strand thus a section with a larger cross-sectional area of the when used downstream the valve is located. (The tubular Sections usually have a circular cross-section and thus this corresponds to an increase diameter). Thus, the size of the compartment valve is exceeded by this invention (the divider valves) the limit of the maximum diameter of the Absetzstrangs not. As in EP-A-0891990 explained (referred to above) became the diameter the divider valves are considered a limitation on the diameter of the settling strands. According to the usual In practice, it is preferred that two Divide valves are present, and these typically have an inner diameter, if completely open which is substantially equal to that of the first tubular portion.
  • It it has been found that this Arrangement has the distinct effect of the settling of the polymer to improve in comparison with a settling strand, which is a constant Diameter, which corresponds to that of the first section. The invention is therefore based on the surprising finding that, in contrast for the knowledge gained in this field, the settling rate can be improved without the Diameter of the section of Absetzstrangs is increased, the is connected to the reactor, and without the size of the dividing valve is increased. The reason is in that stated it has been that the Settling rate of diameter of the lower portion of the strand determined is it it has been found that the Diameter of the upper part is not critical. The settling rate can thus be improved easier and cheaper than before become.
  • in the Comparison with a settling strand with the same volume, in which the first and second sections have the same diameter, also provides the invention a higher one relationship between volume and length, that contributes to prevent the Burning the strand a suspension with a high concentration of the diluent is delivered.
  • Of the first tubular Section includes preferably less than half the length of the strand and serves only to valve with a reactor with to connect closed circle.
  • The Invention is not limited to particular sizes of the first and second Section limited - this can dependent on be chosen from the requirements of a given situation. For the invention to have a significant advantage, the Diameter of the second section, however, at least 10% greater than to be the first. To further improve performance is the second section preferably more than 25% larger or even up to 50% bigger or even bigger. It it is assumed that a practical upper limit is reached when the value is 100% - i. e. if the diameter of the second section is twice that of the first is.
  • For the best Overall performance is the ratio between the diameter of the first and the second portion preferably in the range of 1: 1.2 to 1: 1.6 and more preferably of 1: 1.25 to 1: 1.5.
  • Even though the actual Tube diameter changed can be, the first section is preferably between 20.3 and 30.5 cm (8 and 12 inches). The diameter of the second section is preferably between 25.4 and 35.6 cm (10 and 14 inches), though it can be 76.2 cm (30 inches). (The pipe sizes used here are typical sizes, like they are specified in this field of art, which, as is conventional in inch). The diameter may be e.g. a nominal diameter 20.3 and 25.4 cm (8 and 10 inches) or a nominal diameter 25.4 and 30.5 cm (10 and 12 inches).
  • at a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention the settling leg has a first tubular portion (e.g., nominal 20.3 cm (8 inches) for the connection with the part in the form of the closed circle of a reactor, downstream of which there is a pair of divider valves and further downstream the diameter too, so that a second tubular Section (e.g., nominally 25.4 cm (10 inches)), which in turn to a PTO valve leads.
  • The Invention also extends to a polymerization reactor, which comprises a settling strand, as already described. Such a reactor can with a higher Production speed operated as they are without the Absetzstrang invention possible would be there it's the higher one Settling rate allows that this Product is removed faster from the reactor.
  • The invention also extends to a process in which the settling strand described can be used for the production of polymer. In a further aspect, the invention thus provides a process for the preparation of a polymer which involves the use of a reactor as already described. In particular, it provides a process for producing a polymer comprising the steps of: providing reactant (s), diluent and catalyst for a closed loop reactor and periodically discharging the polymer product therefrom through a settling train, the settling train forming a first tubular one A portion connected to the closed loop reactor having a second tubular portion downstream of the first portion and separable through a diverter valve thereof, the second portion having a larger diameter than the first portion, the polymer flow from the settling leg from a valve downstream of the second section, which is periodically opened.
  • Further The invention extends to a polymer using such a reactor or such a process has been produced.
  • Now becomes an embodiment the invention only as an example and with reference to the accompanying drawings described:
  • 1 is a schematic view of a conventional Absetzstrangs; and
  • 2 is a corresponding view of a Absetzstrangs invention.
  • How out 1 is apparent, is the known Absetzstrang with the lower part of a reactor 1 connected to a closed circle. A line 2 with a nominal diameter of 20.3 cm (8 inches) (actually 219 mm outside diameter and 189 mm inside diameter) is welded to the closed-loop reactor and leads to the upper diverter valve 3 and to the lower compartment valve 4 ,
  • Downstream of the lower compartment valve 4 there is another line 5 , which also has a nominal diameter of 20.3 cm (8 inches). This in turn leads to the lower area 6 and to a PTO valve 7 , The PTO valve 7 controls the electricity in the line 8th leading to a flash tank (not shown).
  • The compartment valves are only closed for maintenance or in an emergency. The lower compartment valve 4 is a duplicate of the upper compartment valve 3 and is intended as a security measure. Consequently, the compartment valves are always open in use so that the suspension can pass from the closed loop of the reactor into the settling train.
  • The Suspension is a primary liquid Mixture of monomer (ethylene), diluent (isobutane), comonomer (1-hexene), hydrogen and catalyst. Inside the reactor is the pressure is about 4 MPa. It is at about 10 to 12 m / s by the Closed-loop reactor circulates. The typical residence time is 45 minutes.
  • If the polyethylene is produced, it forms solid "flakes" in the suspension are suspended. Inside the Absetzstrangs is the suspension comparatively calm, and thus the flakes settle and sink to the bottom of the strand, reducing their concentration of 40 Wt .-% increased to 60 wt .-% becomes.
  • The settling strand shown is one of several that is connected to the bottom of the reactor 1 connected to a closed circle. Each of them is periodically "burned off", with the PTO valve 7 every minute is opened for a few seconds. The pressure downstream of the valve 7 is only 0.15 MPa (compared to 4 MPa upstream) and so its content swiftly travels along the line 8th expelled.
  • The administration 8th leads to a relaxation drum in which the polymer flakes or the powder are separated out. Then the remaining isobutane is purified, pressurized and then returned to the reactor.
  • 2 shows a Absetzstrang, the 1 is identical, except that the diameter of the pipe 5 is nominally 25.4 cm (10 inches) (actually 273 mm outside diameter and 222 mm inside diameter). The 20.3 cm (8 inch) diameter section is 1.9 meters long and the 25.4 cm (10 inch) diameter section is 1.7 meters long for a total length of 3.6 inches m results.
  • The settling strand of 2 works in the same way as the one from 1 except that due to the larger diameter of the line 5 the settling rate and the polymer concentration are significantly increased.

Claims (7)

  1. A polymerization apparatus comprising a closed loop reactor connected to a settling train, the settling train being connected to the lower portion of the reactor and comprising a first tubular portion in fluid communication with the reactor and a second tubular portion disposed at one end above at least a diverter valve is connected to the first tubular portion and has at its other end a valve arranged to provide for the periodic evacuation of the settling leg, the second tubular portion having a larger internal cross-sectional area than the first tube having shaped portion.
  2. Closed-loop reactor according to claim 1, the first tubular Section less than half the length of the settling strand.
  3. A closed loop reactor according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the tubular Sections a circular Have cross section and the ratio the diameter of the first section to that of the second section in the range 1: 1.1 to 1: 2.
  4. Closed-loop reactor according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the cross-sectional area of the second section at least 50% larger than that is the first section.
  5. Closed-loop reactor according to one of the preceding Claims, wherein the first section has a nominal diameter of 20.3 to 30.5 cm (8 to 12 inches) and the second section from a nominal diameter from 25.4 to 35.6 cm (10 to 14 inches).
  6. Process for producing a polymer containing the comprising the steps of: providing reactant (s), diluent and catalyst for a closed loop reactor and periodically discharging the Polymer product from this by a Absetzstrang, wherein the Absetzstrang a first tubular Section that connects to the closed-loop reactor is a second tubular Section downstream the first section and separable by a dividing valve thereof wherein the second portion has a larger diameter than the first Section, wherein the polymer flow from the settling strand of a valve downstream of the second section, which is opened periodically.
  7. The method of claim 6, wherein the reactor and the settling strand as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5.
DE2001629444 2001-10-30 2001-10-30 Polymerization reactor Expired - Fee Related DE60129444T2 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP01309185A EP1310295B1 (en) 2001-10-30 2001-10-30 Polymerisation reactor

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
DE60129444D1 DE60129444D1 (en) 2007-08-30
DE60129444T2 true DE60129444T2 (en) 2007-10-31

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Country Status (6)

Country Link
US (1) US6964754B2 (en)
EP (1) EP1310295B1 (en)
CN (1) CN1301786C (en)
AT (1) AT367198T (en)
DE (1) DE60129444T2 (en)
WO (1) WO2003037499A1 (en)

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